Cars kept running into a big rock in a Calgary parking lot, perhaps because it didn't make eye contact.
Everyone thinks it is very funny, this rock in a suburban parking lot in Calgary, Alberta. Even though it is surrounded by a curb painted in high-vis yellow, people keep driving their cars into it. The CBC quotes a resident:
I don't know how you miss this big rock or how you cut the curb so tight you end up jacked up on the rock," said Brangwyn Jones, who lives in the northwest community of Sage Hill. "I'm trying to wrap my mind around it, as are many of the community members."
The story has spread around the world, picked up by the Daily Mail and Fox News; there was even a campaign started to save the rock, which has now been removed.
But now that the rock is gone, perhaps officials in charge of the roads in Alberta might ask a simple question: WHY ARE SO MANY PEOPLE HITTING A VERY LARGE ROCK?
They might also ask a the question: Why does Alberta run stupid advertising campaigns saying that "Pedestrian safety is a shared responsibility"? Is the problem that the rock did not have eyes that lock?
Clearly, if drivers cannot avoid hitting a big rock surrounded by yellow paint, what is the point of pretending that it is a shared responsibility?
Then there is the police superintendent who promotes high-vis, saying, "Pedestrians can reduce their risk by wearing light-coloured clothing and establishing eye contact with drivers when crossing at crosswalks or intersections." ALL THESE DRIVERS ARE HITTING A ROCK SURROUNDED BY HI-VIZ.
I am not the only one so crazed by this that I am typing in caps. I got it from a local radio station, CJAY 92, that asked the question:
But...there's something a little more serious to discuss here, dude. How can we let people drive away with their licenses after DRIVING OVER A VERY LARGE ROCK? It's really shocking that people who are capable of doing that are sharing the roads with us, no?! Do you agree that a rule should be in place stating that if you drive over a GIANT BOULDER in the middle of a curb in a parking lot, you should have to take an updated driving course?
It is the root of my issue with all these shared responsibility and lock your eyes campaigns. The only difference between pedestrians and that rock is that the rock wins every time and the pedestrian loses. Both are hit mostly by people who are not looking or are incapable of driving properly.
The Sage Hill Rock should be taken to Edmonton and mounted in front of the Department of Transportation as a reminder that most pedestrians have no more of a shared responsibility than a rock.